Sorry for the late posting today, we arrived in Guangzhou around midnight last night so we were pretty tired. Let me just say that the flight was pretty much like the 7th circle of hell. Let's back up first though....
Yesterday morning was reserved for getting the paperwork together for the US Consulate here in Guangzhou. I spent about two hours with the other families getting the forms filled out for the US government to bring Grace home. After the paperwork was done we were really hungry and were getting kind of tired of eating in the same two restaurants in the hotel. We weren't feeling very adventurous so we decided against trying any of the local places. So we just went back to the local supermarket and picked up some peanut butter and bread and made sandwiches. We really love the food here but after eating the same things for a week it was nice to have something familiar.
Grace also received her Chinese passport yesterday. Getting her Chinese passport was the last thing we needed to do before we left Nanchang. Around 3:00pm we all met in the lobby for our bus to take us to the airport to leave for Guangzhou. When we got to the airport there was another large American adoption group there from another agency. We got to talking to them and found that they would be on the same flight as us. I think there are about 14 babies in our group and the other group had around 11. That is around 25 babies...do you see where this is going? Grace was pretty good in the airport, we needed to change her poopy diaper in the airport and gave her a bottle to keep her happy. She actually fell asleep in my arms while we were waiting. We finally got in line to board the plane. After about half the flight had boarded the line stopped and a few minutes later we noticed the guide for the other group yelling at the people at the gate. Our guide back in Nanchang told us that because of the dialect people from Nanchang always appear to be yelling at each other even though they are just saying hello. We were pretty sure the guide was not exchanging pleasantries with them however.
After a little while we found out that there was some Chinese aviation rule that a flight could only have so many babies on it and were were over that limit. We waited in line for about and hour and finally they let us all board the plane. Once on the plane we were in for more fun. Someone from the airport boarded the plane and started talking to the flight attendants. Since we were over the baby limit two people had to volunteer to get on the next flight so we could take off. Two families from the other group quickly volunteered so we thought we were good to go. Apparently the second part of the "too many babies on the plane rule" is there can one be one baby per row so a bunch of families (including us) had to play musical chairs and switch seats. This process took about another hour and then once again we were thinking we were good to go as we taxied out onto the runway. Next we found out that there was some bad weather between Nanchang and Guangzhou so we would have to wait for it to pass. After about an additional hour of waiting we finally took off. Out total delay was about 3 hours.
Grace was quite a trooper through the whole process. We had prepared her ingredients for two bottles which we thought would be enough for an hour and a half flight. Grace went through those two bottles before we even took off. They took our baby food at security but we were able to make her some rice cereal on the plane. We also had Cheerios which I must say is some kind of wonder drug to stop babies from crying. Grace got pretty fussy in the third hour of the delay but we really can't blame her since I think most of the adults on the plane were ready for a meltdown at that point as well. Once we were in the air she fell asleep pretty quickly and was pretty much out through the night. The things babies can sleep through is pretty amazing.
So we finally arrived at the hotel but the fun was not over yet. They put is in a room with twin beds so we asked to be switched. Not for our sake but for Grace's (trust me there is no hanky-panky going on with this trip). It is really nice a large area for her to play which is difficult in a hotel. So they switched our rooms and the new room had no crib so we had to wait for them to bring that up.
But we survived. Grace is all smiles again this morning so I guess her venture into hell didn't scar her too badly. This morning we had to go get a photo taken for Grace's US passport and then had a physical which she passed with flying colors. This afternoon we have an outing planned to the pearl market. I am sure Jen is going to do some damage there.
So here we are at the famous White Swan Hotel. This place is really nice and is pretty much Shangri-La for Chinese adoptive parents. There are a bunch of stores outside the hotel that cater exclusively to adoptive parents so Jen is really looking forward to doing some shopping over the next few days.
Some pics from yesterday.